On Wednesday (June 8th), the President sat down with the Jimmy Kimmel Live host while in town for his first interview of that type since taking office last year. The episode caught the attention of many on Twitter, mainly for the more serious tone of the conversation. Kimmel began by touching upon the frustrating problems that exist in Congress.”I think you need to start yelling at people,” he said. Biden brushed it aside and stated that despite the current issues of the pandemic and economic woes, he’s “never been more optimistic in my life.” Kimmel quickly responded, “Why are you so optimistic? It makes no sense!” President Biden claimed that it was due to his faith in the young people of America. “This generation is going to change everything,” he said. “We just have to make sure we don’t give up.”
Gun control was a prime topic on the table in the wake of the mass shooting incidents in Buffalo, New York, and Uvalde, Texas among others. “I guess, I mean, just to get into it, why haven’t we done anything about this?” Kimmel asked. Biden put the onus on Republicans in Congress, stating that he felt they were more concerned about primary elections and were afraid of doing anything about guns that would threaten their funding. It led Kimmel to ask about the potential use of executive orders to solve the issue, saying that former President Donald Trump “passed them out like Halloween candy.” “I don’t want to emulate Trump’s abuse of the Constitution and constitutional authority,” Biden replied.
The President took the opportunity to appear on the show while in town for the Summit of the Americas conference which is being held in Los Angeles this week. The conference is a meeting between all of the nations of the hemisphere. This year’s edition was marked by the absence of Mexico, who decided not to attend after invitations were not extended to Cuba, Nicaragua, and Venezuela. First Lady Jill Biden was in the audience along with the couple’s granddaughter Naomi and her fiance.